Teacher retention is the goal of a mentoring program for first year teachers, with the hope that by supporting them through the first years that can be overwhelming, they will be more likely to remain in the profession.

Soft Skills“What I was told when I taught was to just make it through the first three years,” said Matt Gill, who heads the mentoring program in South Dakota.  “Those first three years are so tough.”

Approximately 300 pairs of teachers are expected to join the program this year.

A Blue Ribbon Task Force convened last year to address the teacher shortage statewide.  Much of the emphasis was on raising salaries, but part of the focus was also on finding a way to retain teachers already working.

The first three years of a teaching career is critical, according to research.  A large number of people leave the profession during that time. The hope is that both mentors and new teachers will find the new program to be a benefit.

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